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Jimmy Fallon may step into Conan’s shoes

When Conan O'Brien steps in to Jay Leno's vacated “Tonight Show” chair in 2009, it appears Jimmy Fallon will make himself at home in Conan's “Late Night” digs.

Fallon, the “Saturday Night Live” alum, is the favorite to take over for Conan, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

“I think he’d be terrific, and he is at the top of our short list,” NBC late-night chief Rick Ludwin told Broadcasting & Cable.

However, Ludwin said he doesn't expect a formal announcement until 2008.

Fallon signed a developmental deal with NBC earlier this year, which included the possibility of replacing Conan, who is scheduled to take over for Jay Leno in 2009.

According to B&C, Ludwin is confident in Fallon's talents from his days at “SNL,” including anchoring the “Weekend Update” desk. Fallon also served as a guest host for “The Late Show with David Letterman” in 2003.

“We know him from ‘SNL’ and saw what he can do on-camera and off-camera, and I think he’d be terrific,” Ludwin added.

Fallon's fellow “SNL” alum and current NBC star Tina Fey also gave the idea a thumbs up.

“I think it's a great idea. He's really funny and loves to talk to people; it must be that Irish charm. Hosting a talk show is so hard, having to do the comedy and the interview skills, but I actually think he’s really well suited for it,” Fey told B&C.

NBC will announce its final plays before next May's upfront presentations in New York.